Well digging in Cape Coral soars amid water concerns

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Cape Coral’s water issue is coming to a head, and authorities said they are digging four times more than usual to keep the water flowing.

The City of Cape Coral hosted a water conservation meeting in the city council chambers on Monday evening.

Council member Tom Hayden kicked off the meeting by saying the topics that will be discussed are soil sensors and smart controllers and how to qualify for a $500 rebate. The meeting later ended around 6:30 p.m.

For decades, thousands of people in Cape Coral have relied on wells, but with several running dry, homeowners are left with a limited number of options, one of which is to dig.

However, to reach the receding water table in Cape Coral, they need to dig deeper and deeper, as there also seems to be a growing need for deeper wells.

They’re digging about 16 well pumps a day, which are a two to three-hour jobs, so they’re staying busy. The mid-90 temperatures in Cape Coral are not helpful either.

Rain is the only thing that will help.

“We usually do three to four well pumps a day,” said Richard Jackson, the president of the Water Medic in Cape Coral. “Right now, we are doing 12 to 16 well pumps a day due to the low water table in Cape Coral.”

Many people in Cape Coral are turning on their showers and faucets, and no water is coming out.

“As soon as the rain stops within two weeks, lots of calls about, ‘My sprinkler doesn’t work,’ ‘I don’t have water from my well,'” said Jackson. “It’s very critical for rainfall especially when you have lots of people and lots of wells in a very tight area. We’re not really seeing much problems in Lehigh, Alva, even Naples, mainly Cape Coral.”

Jackson explained the well pumps take hours to replace and they’re not cheap.

“We have switched to a three-inch pump because it doesn’t get stuck in the well and ruin it. The three-inch pump is twice as expensive as a four-inch pump. Typically, it’s $2,600 for a new well, new pipe and wiring,” said Jackson.

WINK News spoke to Jack Stevenson recently, who said he is careful about his water usage in his home and knows the cost.

“I don’t water my lawn right now,” said Stevenson. “I don’t wanna run out and burn up another pump. Usually April, we start running out of water in my neighborhood. People have to lower their wells and change their pumps. This has been going on over and over for years.”

Although getting call after call is good for Jackson’s business, he thinks a solution is needed fast, rather than in a few years.

“The City of Cape Coral really needs to consider moving forward with at least water, if not sewer,” said Jackosn. “Because I don’t know how many more years we’re going to be able to keep drilling the wells to 160, 180 or 200 feet.”

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